Jackie Alpers

Jackie Alpers17 recipes

Recipes, creative cooking ideas and food photography from the author of the Taste of Tucson and Sprinkles! Cookbooks

All recipes from "Starter"


Quick & Easy Sonoran Style Chicken Tortilla Soup

Quick & Easy Sonoran Style Chicken Tortilla Soup

This Sonoran version of tortilla soup features crushed tortilla chips and melted cheese anchored in a clear broth that is seasoned with garlic, green chiles and Mexican oregano. I use shredded roasted or rotisserie chicken so that it’s ready in about 30 minutes. If you can’t find RO-TEL in your neck of the woods, you can substitute it with 1 cup diced tomatoes and 1/4 cup canned diced green chiles.

Spicy Thai-Mex Slaw

Spicy Thai-Mex Slaw

This crunchy, salty, and spicy coleslaw is an excellent companion to Sonoran style dishes. Serve this spicy slaw alongside burros and enchiladas or layered in a sandwich like the Pork Torta from my Taste of Tucson cookbook. It's inspired by my very favorite Thai dish, Som Tum (green papaya salad). The Thai fish sauce gives this slaw a burst of umami flavor, but you could always just use a bit more salt if you want to keep it vegan.

Chicken Mole Amarillo

Chicken Mole Amarillo

This version is the personal creation of Chef Suzana Davila of Tucson's Cafe Poca Cosa/ The Little One, who specializes in these complex sauces. Serve this dish with tortillas and a pretty, salad, as Suzana would. 

Gooey, Creamy, Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Gooey, Creamy, Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

A cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole featuring my copycat condensed Cream of Chicken Soup recipe. For a lower carb version of this dish, replace the pasta with an additional cup of chopped broccoli.

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This super easy salad dressing recipe is especially good on a Greek salad, cucumber salad or Asian Chicken salad and you can make it right in the bottle if you only have a little bit of Sriracha left.

Sonoran Style Chipotle Chicken Salad

Sonoran Style Chipotle Chicken Salad

This Spicy and crunchy Sonoran style chicken salad can be served in lettuce taco wraps, tortas and sandwiches or meal sized salads. I've been trying to come up with a chicken salad recipe that I really like for a long time now. but it wasn't until I shot a photograph for the Food Network Kitchens illustrating a recipe that showcased their basic steps for making chicken salad, that I figured it out. Their recipe called for something oniony, something crunchy (like celery, apple, radish, sweet pickle slices or a combo), mayo and salt and pepper. It was a really good basic guideline for me to start with This recipe is Paleo, low-carb and gluten free. 

Greek Country Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Vinaigrette

Greek Country Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Vinaigrette

Chunky vegetables and feta tossed in a light lemon anchovy vinaigrette. I am going to make a bold statement and say that you can indeed win friends with salad in stark contrast to the clip I've posted below. Here's a good one to start with.

Iceberg Wedge Salad with Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette

Iceberg Wedge Salad with Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette

The Wedge salad is one of these very classic, simple recipes that's accessible to everyone. One that's been loved for generations and modified along the way to accommodate changing tastes. When I've had this at steakhouses it's usually served with a very thick bleu cheese dressing, but I prefer to leave that to my buffalo wings. This version is topped with a lighter vinaigrette. I've smashed the blue cheese into the vinegar & oil base so that the flavor carries throughout the salad. It can be made into a meal by adding some chopped chicken breast, chopped hard boiled egg or tiny shrimp. The salad feels festive, even if you're just making it for yourself to eat alone in front of the TV. Usually I present it to myself all pretty on the plate, and then I proceed to chop it into bits at the table with my knife and fork.

Mini Fennel and Bleu Cheese Pizzas with Chorizo, Prosciutto and Heirloom Tomatoes

Mini Fennel and Bleu Cheese Pizzas with Chorizo, Prosciutto and Heirloom Tomatoes

The fun thing about pizza is that I can throw a bunch of seemingly unrelated items together and make something new. I've been experimenting and have found that almost any combination that tastes good on a salad will also be good on a pizza.  For these mini pizzas I started with a classic herb and cheese crust. I used good olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead of tomato sauce. For the toppings I did a hot layer of fennel and blue cheese, and then a cold layer once it came out of the oven. of meats and fresh tomatoes.

Red Curry Shrimp With Pineapple from Quick & Easy Thai

Red Curry Shrimp With Pineapple from Quick & Easy Thai

The base for gaeng kua is a red curry paste made without the roasted cumin, coriander, and other spices ground into the standard red curry paste. Wild lime leaves are traditional, but if you cannot find them, you will still have a wonderful dish. Fresh pineapple is lovely, but canned pineapple works fine, too. With jasmine rice, nests of thin rice noodles or angel hair pasta, and a green salad, this makes an elegant little meal." -Nancy McDermott, Quick and Easy Thai.  I'm a pretty good cook, but there is something about Thai food that's always seemed complicated and exotic to me. That's why I LOVE this book : Quick & Easy Thai by Nancie McDermott, (Chronicle Books, 2004). Nancie was kind enough to let me re-print one of my favorite recipes, which is a perfect mixture of the tastes I'm drawn to over and over again; tropical fruit, searing chilis, seafood, and Thai spices. I photographed some of the steps along with my final version of the dish to illustrate the process. Luckily the recipe was truly quick and easy because I wasn't about to wait. I inhaled this entire dish immediately after taking these photos.

Sonoran Potato Salad with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette and Red Onion

Sonoran Potato Salad with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette and Red Onion

Sonoran style spicy potato salad tossed with a chili-lime vinaigrette. Here in Southern Arizona, our famous Sonoran style Mexican food is often garnished with pickled red onions and Mexican limes. I've incorporated those flavors into my recipe for a spicy roasted potato salad tossed with a chili-lime vinaigrette.

Green Papaya-less Salad (Spicy Thai Coleslaw)

Green Papaya-less Salad (Spicy Thai Coleslaw)

Here in Tucson it can be hard to get fresh green papaya, so I use packaged coleslaw mix instead in this spicy Thai cabbage salad inspired by my very favorite Thai dish. Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad). It's crunchy, salty and spicy and I swear that it will cure whatever ails you.

Spicy Deviled Eggs with Caviar

Spicy Deviled Eggs with Caviar

These chipotle eggs topped with caviar and capers are fancy yet simple. The perfect party food or indulgent yet healthy snack.  Since I like a salty-spicy combo I'll use caviar for a garnish when I'm feeling fancy. Otherwise I'll just use capers. I learned how to make hard boiled eggs from Martha Stewart (not in person... on her website). Here's the link if you want to check out her instructions. This recipe serves one as a snack. For a crowd, multiply the recipe by the number of people expected to eat them.

Thai Chicken and Vegetable Soup With Coconut Milk

Thai Chicken and Vegetable Soup With Coconut Milk

I believe in the healing power of both chicken soup and Thai food. Combining the two will cure whatever ails you and the spicier you can make it the better. If you are healthy, this soup will make you stronger, more vibrant and more beautiful. I recommend eating it daily.I'm using rotisserie chicken in this recipe. It's my new secret ingredient! Eat as much of the chicken as you can off of the bone like a barbarian, and then use some of the leftovers to make this soup.

Jackie’s Caesar Salad

Jackie’s Caesar Salad

Tags: Starter, Salad

Here’s my version followed by the 1967 Joy of Cooking original:

Onion-Barley Matzoh Ball Soup Recipe

Onion-Barley Matzoh Ball Soup Recipe

I'm craving soup. Here's a hearty vegetarian version of traditional matzoh ball soup. I modified it from an onion/mushroom soup recipe that my mother used to make when I was a kid.

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